SUTD Design Innovation Forum in partnership with The Straits Times

26 May 2023 3PM to 5.30PM Physical (SUTD Auditorium) / Online (Zoom)

Rewatch in case you missed it

About the forum

The third edition of the SUTD Design Innovation Forum brings together a panel of distinguished experts from various fields, such as architecture, consumer goods, and education, to discuss the importance of sustainable design.

This year's forum will delve into cutting-edge and innovative sustainable approaches from architectural design tools and methodologies, frontier technologies and research to MarTech and beyond for a sustainable world. Our speakers and panellists will share their insights, experiences, and case studies, shedding light on the latest trends, innovations, and challenges in their respective fields from a local and global perspective. 

Join us as we find the best ways to create a better world by design.


For enquiries and more information, please write to

BOA-SIA Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme points:

  • Licensed/registered architects who practise in Singapore will be awarded 2 CPD points under the BOA-SIA CPD Programme.
  • The CPD points will be awarded to licensed/registered architects who fulfil the following two criteria:
    • Registered themselves for the SUTD Design Innovation Forum 2023 on this registration page.
    • PHYSICAL SESSION (SUTD auditorium) - Attendance confirmed by electronic sign-in (QR code in the registration confirmation email will be scanned before admission) OR ONLINE SESSION (Zoom) - Attendance confirmed by online sign-in (please use your registered name when you’re logging into the virtual session) on the event day.

Things to note for physical session (at SUTD Auditorium):

  • Spaces are limited and strictly by registration only (no walk-ins).
  • We are psyched to welcome you, and your registration will help us to be better prepared.

Registration closed.

Forum Highlights

Discover how Sustainable Architecture can shape our built environment with stunning and functional spaces for a sustainable future.
Learn how technologies like the Metaverse, Blockchain and Generative AI drive a new era of innovation and disruption, allowing companies to overcome challenges creatively, inclusively and sustainably.
Understand the true value of Design x Tech in education and businesses. Discover how they drive the economy, create jobs and build a sustainable future.

Hear from renowned thought leaders and gain valuable insights into architecture, education, research, digital technologies and more.


Mr Heng Swee Keat

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies​

Mr Heng Swee Keat chairs the tripartite Future Economy Council which oversees the on-going restructuring of our economy, through upgrading the skills of our workers and transformation of industry, to create better career prospects for our people.

He is also the Chairman of the National Research Foundation, which sets the direction for Singapore's research, innovation and enterprise (RIE) strategies as well as integrates RIE and industry transformation efforts.

Prof Chong Tow Chong

President, SUTD

Professor Chong Tow Chong has been SUTD’s President since 2018 and was SUTD’s founding Provost. Before joining SUTD, he was the Executive Director of A*STAR SERC and DSI, and Professor at NUS ECE Department. He steered the development of SUTD from scratch, bringing together an inter-disciplinary, design-centric curriculum to nurture future leaders and innovators.

He obtained his ScD from MIT. His research areas include advanced memories and brain-inspired neuromorphic computing. He received numerous awards such as the President’s Science and Technology Medal, IES-IEEE Joint Medal of Excellent Award and Public Administration Medal – Gold (2021).

Keynote: The Importance of Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) to Sustainability in Singapore.
Institutes of Higher Learning, or IHL, are essential to Singapore's efforts to promote sustainability. They are the inventor of new innovative technologies and solutions and the catalysts to put such sustainable solutions into practice. IHLs are also responsible for equipping the next generation with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to promote sustainability. In his keynote speech, Prof Chong Tow Chong, SUTD President, will share on SUTD’s effort in supporting Sustainability in Singapore.

Photo credits: Barbra Verbij

Ms Nathalie de Vries

Founding Partner, MVRDV

As the “DV” of MVRDV, founding partner Nathalie de Vries has led many successful MVRDV projects, with a focus on the invention of new building typologies and the creation of changeable, open systems.

De Vries combines her work for MVRDV with a position as professor of Architectural Design and Public Building at the Faculty of Architecture at TU Delft. The central theme in her research, design, and construction of public buildings and public space is “Multiplicity in Design”.

Keynote: Research by Design for Sustainable Buildings and Cities.
MVRDV architects and urban planners develop design tools and design methodologies, to create more productive, adaptable and sustainable architectural designs. How buildings and cities can become more future-proof will be shown with some recent MVRDV’s projects developed with these tools.

Ms Roxanne Ong

Global Head of Strategy, Innovations & Education, Digital Transformation Office, Shiseido​

Roxanne Ong is the Global Head of Strategy, Innovations and Education at the Digital Transformation Office at Shiseido. She works with business units within the Shiseido ecosystem to navigate the persistent waves of technological disruptions and leverage the opportunities it presents.

A 25-year veteran of the digital tech space, Roxanne’s diverse experiences spans global legacy corporations to pioneering tech start-ups such as Estee Lauder Corporation, W Hotels, Ogilvy One, Hailo (now MyTaxi) and General Assembly, all looking to make a better world.

Keynote: The Future of Work in a Post-Digital Era
Since digital became a part of human life some 20 years ago, the world had been transforming at spectacular speed – disrupting industries, shifting power paradigms, and the reshaping patterns of human life. The commercial world rang 2023 in, from a heady love affair with the Metaverse, and a tumultuous crypto winter, only to be thrust in the marvellous yet polarising world of Generative AI. Whether it’s spatial computing, blockchain or neural networks – they will inevitably form the backbone of human life, and for some, a real fear of an increasingly voracious appetite for computing power with no end in sight. How might we then, step into the future of work, with a civic compass in mind – creating for inclusivity, sustainability and impact?

Roxanne will explore how creators of tech might walk the tight rope between dystopian and utopian, through the subjects of AI, Web3 and the Metaverse.


Prof Tai Lee Siang

Head of Pillar (Architecture and Sustainable Design), Centre Director (DesignZ) and Programme Director (Design and Artificial Intelligence), SUTD

Lee Siang started as an urban designer with the Urban Redevelopment Authority in 1990. He joined DP Architects in 1992 and became a partner in 2000. Between 2011 to 2016, Lee Siang joined Ong&Ong Group, a multi-discipline design firm as Group Managing Director. In 2018, Lee Siang assumed the position of Executive Director, BuildSG in Building & Construction Authority to spearhead industry engagement. His role was expanded to include Communication and Engagement in 2020. In 2021, he joined SUTD as Head of Pillar of Architecture and Sustainable Design, Centre Director of DesignZ and Programme Director of Design and Artificial Intelligence.

Lee Siang is most passionate about voluntary works on the NGOs fronts. Between 2007 and 2018, he was elected president for 3 trade associations and chairman for 1 global NGO. The organisations are :

  • Singapore Institute of Architects, President 2007 – 2009
  • Singapore Green Building Council, President 2011 – 2013
  • Design Business Chamber Singapore, President 2012 – 2016
  • World Green Building Council, Chairman 2016-2018

A key initiative started during Lee Siang’s term as WorldGBC Chair is the Advancing Net Zero movement that results in the increasing adoption of Net Zero Buildings worldwide.